There are stacks of junk mail on the counter, your phone is ringing somewhere from the depths of your bag, dinner needs to be made and yesterday’s dishes are still sitting in the sink. And that’s just in the first 30 seconds of walking in the door.
Give Peace a Chance
We seem to spend a lot of time living in our homes, but not much time “being” at home. You need a relaxing environment. You deserve a relaxing environment.
A few years ago I visited a relative in one of the most peaceful places I’ve ever seen … a rehab center. Soft lighting, lots of plants and a spectacular water fountain made me feel like I was relaxing in a spa not chatting with my relative before his group therapy session. A peaceful environment is conducive to, well, just about everything. Since then I’ve made an effort to create pockets of peace around my home.
Declutter the Chaos
If you’re like me, it’s really hard to relax when your space is in chaos. So I zero in on one room and start my peace makeover there. I like to spend 10 minutes (or 30 if you have kids) just putting things back in their place, running a dust cloth over surfaces and maybe spot sweeping with the vacuum cleaner. If you don’t have time to clean all the rooms, then just set aside a small one that can easily be kept decluttered for when you need a moment’s peace.
Now you’re starting with an official clean slate.
Engage the Five Senses
A peaceful vibe doesn’t just come at you in one dimension. It’s a total sensory experience. You want to be able to hear, feel, smell, see and taste it — peace tastes like chocolate chip cookies to me.
- Lighting. I like to start with a room’s lighting. There’s nothing peaceful about bright overhead lights or those gross fluorescent lights. Use table and floor lamps with opaque shades that filter light softly.
- Ear pleasure. Music is the backbone of any attempt at relaxation. I love to key up my Shostakovich channel on Pandora or play — don’t laugh — a chant CD by the Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo. I used it when I taught yoga and it instantly drops my blood pressure and puts me into a semi-comatose state.
- What is that delicious aroma? Scented candles are a must in my home office. I can’t take the heavy flowery scents so I stick with ones that smell like clean linen, apple cider, or hazelnut coffee. If you can’t stomach the smell, go with unscented and don’t forget to light them. Flickering candlelight is a relaxer for sure.
- The feel of cotton … or some other soft material. When I get home, the first thing I do is change into comfy clothes. Texture is important here. Think soft fabrics, comfortable slippers and maybe a fuzzy throw on the back of a chair. I’m also a fan of throw rugs with nice textures. Even if you’re not squishing your feet in the rug or wrapping yourself in the throw, their mere presence aids in the relaxation process.
- Water therapy. I highly recommend picking up one of those little tabletop water fountains to add to your space. It’s not a coincidence that every spa has a trickling waterfall. It’s peaceful and it’s pretty and you don’t have to spend more than $20 on it.
- Knick-knacks. Surround yourself with items that have positive meaning to you. My home office is neatly littered with framed family photos, favorite books, travel souvenirs and special artwork. Every time I walk in the door I feel like I’m entering my sanctuary … even if I do have to do work here.
- Plant life. I don’t know, maybe it’s the oxygen or something, but I think plants are absolutely necessary to a peaceful environment. There’s something special and relaxing about the presence of silent, green life. Plus they are pretty and you can get some really cool pots that match the rest of the room.
- Tasty goodness. If you’re still having trouble relaxing, bust out a snack or a beverage that will help the last traces of the day’s stress dissolve. I recommend a jasmine, green or chamomile tea.
Alicia Lawrence is a content coordinator for a tech company and blogs in her free time at MarCom Land. Her articles have been published by Her Fitness Hut, Examiner.com, and Ask Miss A.